Short work placements aimed at secondary school and FE students can be notoriously hard to find in the games industry. There aren’t too many studios that provide work experience to young people and the ones that do can be difficult to discover. Longer internships for undergraduates are more common but can still tough to come by. It’s understandable to a degree; a lot of the roles within this industry aren’t very accessible for inexperienced people. The tasks can be complex, requiring weeks or months of training to be understood fully. However, there are several disciplines that can offer suitable tasks to the next generation of games industry professionals: design, art, IT, community management, and QA to name a few.
Experience is more essential than ever in the UK job market and the games industry is no exception. It’s an industry that is incredibly competitive, with employers typically seeking a combination of qualification and experience in their candidates. This results in one of the most common and frustrating catch-22 situations known to man: ‘How am I supposed to gain experience if I’m constantly turned down for not having any?’ It’s a very good question, the answers to the question aren’t quite so good though. Some will tell you it’s down to having good connections, but most people aren’t lucky enough to have those. Others might say that you’re not looking hard enough, but a lot of people almost certainly are. We’d suggest that you talk to the careers advisor at your school or college and let them handle the connections and the searching. It’s also a good idea to check out UK Games Map. This site will help you find games companies close to you; you’ll still have to check their website out or contact them to find out if they’re offering placements.
Work Experience at Test-thru-Ology
Testology have been offering QA work placements all year round for as long as we’ve existed. It’s a tradition that Andy Robson, our Managing Director, brought over from his time at Lionhead Studios. Testology’s philosophy is that work experience should be just that, work experience. Our placements are tasked in the same way as our employees. They are an essential part of the team, testing unreleased products and using live bug databases. There aren’t any glorified tea makers or photocopiers in our office. That’s not to say it isn’t a lot of fun; working in the games industry simply wouldn’t be complete without a whole load of fun!
A week long Testology work placement is a part of the Test-thru-Ology syllabus and comes towards the end of the course. It allows our tutors to assess whether all the necessary learning has taken place as we monitor progress in a real working environment. The learners will also be given the opportunity to assess themselves through online questionnaires. We know that this experience will prove invaluable to all our learners and to their future employers.